NASA’s electric plane to take off

NASA has launched a research programme to build electric planes. It will test a new propulsion technology using an experimental airplane called X-57 and nicknamed “Maxwell”. Maxwell’s original wing and two gas-fuelled […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

NASA has launched a research programme to build electric planes.

It will test a new propulsion technology using an experimental airplane called X-57 and nicknamed “Maxwell”.

Maxwell’s original wing and two gas-fuelled piston engines will be replaced with a long, skinny wing embedded with 14 electric motors.

Engineers hope to achieve a five-time reduction in the energy required for a private plane to cruise at 175 miles per hour.

The space agency aims to demonstrate advanced technologies, reduce fuel use, emissions and noise and accelerate their introduction to the marketplace.

NASA adds the plane could benefit travellers by reducing flight times, fuel usage as well as cutting overall operational costs for small aircrafts by as much as 40%.